Centre gives authority to Krishna, Godavari boards over common reservoirs of AP, TS

Hyderabad: The union ministry of Jal Shakti on Thursday gave ultimate authority to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) and Godavari River Management Board (GRMD) for operation and maintenance of the common reservoirs of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states, amid the ongoing row between two states regarding Krishna river water sharing.

The ministry issued a Gazette notification empowering the boards late Thursday. As per the notification, the projects have been divided into three schedules. The Krishna Board will have complete control over the Srisailam project and its components, Telugu Ganga and Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanthi, specified under Schedule I and II.  

As per the notification, Kalwakurthy Lift Irrigation Scheme, Palamuru Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme, Nagarjuna Sagar and Pulichintala will also come under the complete KRMB jurisdiction. 

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Any unauthorized project will be subject to appraisal and approval of the KRMB (or GRMB) in accordance with the Apex Council. It will issue directions to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and they should be strictly followed.

The union ministry also said that Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) shall assist KRMB and GRMB in the day-to-day management of the projects notified in the schedules.

The notification will come into effect from October 14.

Within 60 days of issuance of notification, both the States must provide onetime seed money of Rs 200 crore each to the KRMB. If any question arises over the jurisdiction of KRMB on any project, the decision of the Centre is final. Within six months of notification, both the States will have to get all the unauthorized projects appraised and approved. 

If the state governments fail to do so, the projects will cease to operate.

Jagan’s letters

In series of letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy sought intervention in the ongoing water war with Telangana, alleging that the latter has been drawing water from the common reservoirs on the Krishna river without necessary clearances from the KRMB.

In a letter last week, Jagan said that the Telangana government’s hydel power generation is in blatant violation of the Andhra Pradesh State Reorganization Act, 2014 and the established protocol which mandates that the irrigation requirements are to be met first.

He had also requested the deployment of central forces at the common reservoirs to protect Andhra’s interests along the Krishna river. 

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